The Berlin Wall was a barrier that separated East Berlin from West Berlin. Construction began on this wall in August of 1961 and it completely cut the allied-controlled West Berlin off from East Berlin and the rest of Germany. It was rebuilt and fortified a number of times and the final wall was constructed of concrete blocks with guard towers along the perimeter. The wall was separated from the west by a large open strip of land with anti-vehicle traps and nail beds. On midnight of Saturday the 12 august 1961, the borders between east and West Berlin were closed. German troops and police began to tear up streets, telephone lines, and railway lines along the border making the boarder impassable for vehicles and people alike. They also installed barbed wire fencing along the 156 kilometers (97 miles) around the three western sectors, and the 43 kilometers (27 miles) that divided West and East Berlin. Effectively overnight the West was separated from the East with no regards to citizens and businesses. It was not until the 9 November 1989 that the Berlin wall “fell.” This date does not mark the actual destruction of the wall, but rather the destruction of the ideas that caused it to be erected.
Who Built the Wall?
The Berlin Wall was built by the Soviet government of East Germany, the German Democratic Republic. They believed that the allied West Berlin was a threat to their new way of life. The West also attracted a lot of the skilled workers as the jobs paid better and there was greater freedom. The wall was built to stop the emigration of Germans from Soviet East Germany to the allied controlled West Berlin. When strong emigration laws and border crossings did not stop the massive amount of emigration, the wall was constructed. The actual wall was built by German troops and construction workers. It was guarded by the National People’s Army and Combat Groups of the workingclass soldiers during and after construction.